Statement from BTU President Jessica Tang on Conference Committee version of Student Opportunity Act:
The Student Opportunity Act is a historic victory for Massachusetts students, educators and families. The $1.5 billion investment in public schools will have a lasting and impactful effect on our state’s education system and the ability to meaningfully improve the learning conditions of students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and low-income students.
This victory is the result of community-led efforts across the Commonwealth. For years, an organized base of parents, unionized educators, students and community members have called on legislators to increase funding for our public schools. We have knocked on doors, written postcards, organized community forums and rallies, and testified at hearings. We thank the legislators who amplified our concerns and spearheaded efforts within the State House to get this funding bill passed.
We will also continue to advocate for community members to have a say in how these funds are used. Our stakeholders are the ones who have felt the impact of underfunded schools — lacking much-needed resources for the everyday classroom supplies to the wraparound services needed to support families. We know best what our schools need and we will continue fighting to ensure that the voices of families of color, working class families, and all communities that have been impacted by years of disinvestment are heard and uplifted.
We look forward to Governor Baker honoring the efforts of community members and legislators and signing the Student Opportunity Act. Once this bill is signed and becomes a law, Massachusetts will be another step closer to having fully funded and equitable schools that meet the needs of all students.